Water School

What is giardiasis (giardia)?

Giardiasis is an infection of the small intestine by single-celled parasites called giardia. People are typically infected by the parasite through exposure to fecal mater through contaminated water or food. Symptoms, which usually begin about a week after infection, include diarrhea, nausea and abdominal cramps.

Though there are no preventative vaccines, several drugs can be used to treat infections. However, there are ways to avoid becoming infected. First, people should avoid consuming water that may have become contaminated. If one does not know whether water is safe, it should be boiled or treated before consumption. Likewise, avoid foods potentially washed in contaminated water if the food cannot be cooked or peeled. Wash hands frequently with soap, especially after using the bathroom or before eating. Also wash hands after changing diapers. Avoid swallowing water while swimming.




The information provided on this site is intended as background on water within the Brazos River basin. There should be no expectation that this information is all encompassing, complete or in any way examines every aspect of this very complex natural resource.

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